Why you are a work of art!

This past week my wife and I visited the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. It is a museum that hosts among things exhibitions of contemporary art. One of the exhibits was a work of art by Robert Gober created in the late 1980s entitled “Untitled Door And Door Frame” and the elements used were “wood, enamel paint.” This particular “work” consisted of two major elements. First there was a wood framed doorway, the only entrance into a white ten by fourteen windowless, featureless room. The door frame was painted with a healthy coat of creamy beige enamel. Inside the room leaning against the opposite wall farthest from the doorway was the second element of the “work” – an old six-panel interior door without a door knob or latch which was also painted a creamy beige.
Like so much of modern art, it takes a right-brained creative to fully appreciate the categorization of certain things as “art.” And this display by Gober, constructed and arranged using such common objects was no exception. Typically when most people think of art they imagine works like the Mona Lisa by Da Vinci or The Pieta by Michelangelo.
To a left-brained home fixit guy like myself, Untitled Door And Door Frame looked more like an unfinished project and anything but a work of art. In my linear, structured way of thinking the paint was dry so why not get the necessary hardware, grab the door and install the hinges and latch set, measure the doorframe to match, install its hinges and mount the door?
Perhaps that is some of the emotional response Gober was looking for when he came up with his idea. I know that good art is meant to be evocative but typically we associate the response of its beholder be one of aesthetic enjoyment rather than frenetic deployment.
It raises a very important question “When is art, art?”

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